Just like In­dian mom makes

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODFUN - WENDYL MARTIN

MOTHER of mine, but a Nush Restau­rant break­fast does not dis­ap­point. The style of the food is South African In­dian and seems in­spired by the sort of fare you would gorge on in In­dian homes in my home prov­ince, Kwazulu-na­tal.

Think milk naan topped with cur­ried mince, or sar­dines mashed with onion and green chill­ies. Imag­ine eggs served with mus­tard seed, braised baked beans, jeera-spiced pota­toes and gar­lic mush­rooms. It may sound too hot a start to the day for some, but a spicy break­fast hits my spot.

A col­league and I sat down to break­fast at the sadly empty-look­ing Nush this week on bustling Plein Street across the road from Par­lia­ment. Per­haps the empti­ness can be as­cribed to the restau­rant be­ing a new ar­rival – they opened ear­lier this month.

The decor is some­thing of a com­pro­mise be­tween a modern look and an In­dian home, with pol­ished wooden cabi­nets dis­play­ing sil­ver­ware and a large pic­ture of a wo­man in a sari. Square ta­bles that seat four with match­ing wood­back chairs fill the tiled space of the restau­rant and there’s fur­ther seat­ing at a street- fac­ing bar counter.

I tucked into a scram­bled egg break­fast served with a few sides and washed it down with some­thing called a rose milk drink – that was me try­ing to be ad­ven­tur­ous.

And in true SA In­dian style, ex­pect a por­tion only a Kwazu­luNatal mom would serve up to a prodi­gal son – ex­ces­sive.

The food was neatly pre­sented; I found a mound of egg on my plate, two long juicy sausages, a heap of gar­lic mush­rooms that may have been a quar­ter of a pun­net, braised jeera pota­toes that were very yel­low in colour, and the cherry of the dish – a thick, tasty tomato chut­ney, sim­i­lar to what lo­cals would call smoor.

This chut­ney proved to be a good condi­ment, mix­ing ex­cel­lently with the yel­lowy pota­toes, egg and sausage.

The toast was served hot, cov­ered with a servi­ette. Cut­lery was on the side in a nap­kin and the ta­ble had the usual salt, pep­per and white su­gar ( brown su­gar and sweet­ener at the ta­bles would have been good). Other sauces were of­fered by a smil­ing wait­ress, who checked on us at de­cent in­ter­vals.

My col­league had a large omelette filled with cur­ried mince, pep­pers and cheese for R35. A small eater, he said: “It was good value for money; I couldn’t fin­ish it.”

Per­haps he is not used to In­dian mother-size por­tions.

Momp, a dry mix­ture of sweet spicy bits, was served af­ter the meal to aid the di­ges­tion of the fiery food.

Nush’s chef, Nasen Moodley, said they were tar­get­ing cus­tomers who work at Par­lia­ment and the nearby Depart­ment of Jus­tice.

“Our break­fast hours have been a lit­tle quiet. At lunch our roti rolls and curry on naan bread are pop­u­lar, along with our fried fish and dhal,” Moodley said, while I men­tally re­minded my­self to re­main com­posed and not sali­vate in com­pany.

For drinkers, there is a large whisky and brandy menu – a nice ac­com­pa­ni­ment to a lunch time spot. Some gin and vod­kas would be great, though.

On the down­side: there’s no smok­ing area or in-restau­rant toi­lets.

This is a lit­tle gem of a break­fast venue where, de­spite the busy city street out­side, sit­ting there bop­ping to sitar mu­sic I got to es­cape from the daily grind. Those empty ta­bles de­serve to get filled in the new year. Twit­ter: @Wendyl­martin wendyl.martin@inl.co.za

PIC­TURE: BRAN­DON MESCHT

COME AND GET IT: Nush Restau­rant on Plein Street serves In­dian break­fasts.

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